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|FPPJ opposes flood maps|
The Franklin Parish Police Jury is sounding a clarion call for help opposing the federal redrawing of flood plain maps jurors say could deal a financial blow to residents and parish coffers.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) presented new flood zone maps to the police jury late last year.
The new maps, the first in over 20 years, were drawn from satellite information that measured water levels across the parish.
Residents could discover that new maps place their homes in a flood plain, which could increase home insurance premiums by more than $1,000 per year, parish officials said.
After the three month amendment period before the effect date, residents who find themselves in new flood zones will have to purchase flood insurance and new construction will have to be permitted to build in newly mapped flood plains.
"If you let this all go on and you think you are not in a flood zone and you are shown to be in one, you will have no way of protesting it," said jury president Ricky Campbell.
Some of the maps, which parish officials have superimposed on maps showing townships and roadways, were on display at Thursday night's regular police jury meeting.
There is a 90-day window to protest the new maps that would begin after FEMA were to notify the community of new flood plain management regulations by a second letter in The Franklin Sun.
That letter is expected to come sometime between May and July of this year.
The police jury is holding a meeting March 25 at the city court building at 1308 Cornell St. in Winnsboro from 2 to 7 p.m. where the new maps will be displayed.
Maps will be shown on a computer where assistance will be provided to determine which properties are located in flood zones.
Officials would like residents, contractors and surveyors to come to the meeting to review the maps, so they will be informed in order to contest any changes they feel are unwarranted.
Homeowners who feel their homes are in no danger of flooding might be surprised to find new maps show they live in a flood plain, officials said.
If a resident has a pond on their property, for instance, a satellite might have pinged it and find they now live in an area that maps show are in danger of being flooded.
Franklin Parish must adopt new flood plain management regulations or face penalties including the loss of federal disaster assistance money.
The parish would have to fill the bill for hydraulic studies for the proposed FEMA maps' hazardous flood zone areas. Those could cost the parish $1,000 to $5,000 per mile depending on the area, said officials.
In other business, the police jury passed a resolution requesting $200,000 from the Louisiana Recovery Authority Comprehensive Resiliency Program for assistance with a parish-wide comprehensive drainage plan.